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Himachalis favour probe against Dhumal
Onkar Singh in Shimla | February 15, 2003 17:04 IST
It may not be to acting chief minister of Himachal Pradesh Prem Kumar Dhumal's liking, but the allegations levelled by Captain Amarinder Singh, chief minister of Punjab, have more or less stuck to him.
Most of them favour an independent probe to establish who is telling the truth --- Captain Amarinder Singh or Prem Kumar Dhumal?
Earlier on February 7, Punjab State Electricity Board officials on Friday raided four premises belonging to Dhumal, even as a day before, Dhumal moved the court of chief judicial magistrate, Shimla, under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code seeking damages from Amarinder Singh and two other Congress leaders, Motilal Vora and Anand Sharma, for saying he was corrupt.
Rediff.com travelled to Sanjoli, Mushobara, Solan and other smaller towns in Himachal Pradesh to find out what the people of the state have to say about the allegations against Dhumal.
Som Dutt Sharma, who works in a hotel in Solan, confidently said, "The allegations are essentially political in nature, but they have been made by a person who happens to be chief minister of a state they need to be investigated. I am not saying that Dhumal is guilty and has made huge properties through corrupt means. If Dhumal is clean then let there be an inquiry by an independent agency. If Dhumal is proved right then those who made allegations against him should be made to pay."
C L Garg, resident of Mushobra, feels the allegations are baseless and Dhumal was right in filing a case against those who are trying to defame him.
"Prem Kumar Dhumal is a clean person. These allegations are nothing but a deep-rooted conspiracy to lower his image in the public eye. The Congress party is making such allegations because they know that the Dhumal government has worked and on the basis of the development work done by it the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] would return to power," he said.
But his colleague Bihari Lal does not agree. "We have no developmental work. They laid one road in our village and claim that they have done developmental work here. This is when R D Kashyap, urban development minister in the Dhumal government, belongs to Mushobra. There is acute shortage of drinking water in this particular area. What the Congress had done in 47 years they have undone in no time. The charges against him [Dhumal] should be probed," he said.
Laik Ram, 38, agreed with Bihari Lal. "The BJP workers try to shout down those who try to express independent views. I am unemployed. What has the state government done for me? I am not saying whether Dhumal has made money or not. I am more concerned about my unemployment," he said.
Businessman S Prakash, who lives on the outskirts of Shimla somewhere near Sanjoli, felt that the Central Bureau of Investigation should make independent inquiries against Dhumal and make public the truth.
"The allegations need to be investigated irrespective of the fact who is making it. Captain Amarinder Singh is a responsible person who would not make allegations out of the blue. Besides he is the chief minister of Punjab and would know what properties are in the name of Dhumal and his family members. Where is the harm if there is some sort of investigation by an independent organisation," he added.
More reports from Himachal Pradesh